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Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent.

CHAPTER XXI.—­Darby’s Piety Rewarded

—­A Protestant Charger, with his Precious Burthen—­A Disaffected Hack supporting a Pillar of the Church—­A Political and Religious Discussion in a Friendly Way

The Assizes had now arrived, and the Grand Panel of the county met once more to transact their fiscal and criminal business.  We omit the grand entry of the Judges, escorted, as they were, by a large military guard, and the posse comitatus of the county, not omitting to mention a goodly and imposing array of the gentry and squirearchy of the immediate and surrounding districts, many of Whom were pranked out in all the grandeur of their Orange robes.  As, however, we are only yet upon our way there, we beg you to direct your attention to two gentlemen dressed in black, and mounted each in a peculiar and characteristic manner.  One of them is a large, bloated, but rather handsome, and decidedly aristocratic looking man, with a vermilion face, mounted upon a splendid charger, whose blood and action must have been trained to that kind of subdued but elegant bearing that would seem to indicate, upon the part of the animal, a consciousness that he too owed a duty to the Church and Constitution, and had a just right to come within the category of a staunch and loyal Protestant horse, as being entrusted with the life, virtues, and dignity of no less a person than the Rev. Phineas Lucre—­all of which are now on his back assembled, as they always are, in that reverend gentleman’s precious person.  Here we account at once for the animal’s cautious sobriety of step, and pride and dignity of action, together with his devoted attachment to the Church and Constitution by which he lived, and owing to which he wore a coat quite as sleek, but by no means so black as his master’s.  The gentleman by whom he appears to be accompanied, much—­if we can judge by their motions—­against his will, seems to be quite as strongly contrasted to him, as the rough undressed hack upon which he is mounted is to the sanctified and aristocratic nag that is honored by bearing the Rev. Phineas Lucre.  The hack in question is, nevertheless, a stout and desperate looking varmint, with a red vindictive eye, moving, ill-tempered ears, and a tail that seems to be the seat of intellect, if a person is to take its quick and furious whisking as being given in reply to Mr. Lucre’s observations, or by way of corroboration of the truth uttered by the huge and able-bodied individual who is astride of him.  That individual is no other than the Rev. Father M’Cabe, who is dressed in a coat and waistcoat of coarse black broadcloth, somewhat worse for the wear, a pair of black breeches, deprived of their original gloss, and a pair of boots well greased with honest hog’s lard—­the fact being, that the wonderful discovery of Day and Martin had not then come to light.  Mr. M’Cabe has clearly an unsettled and dissatisfied seat, and

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